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Berlin District Council Rejects Plans for a Holocaust Memorial

The local council in the Berlin district of Steglitz has rejected a proposed memorial to the 1,600 Jews from the district who were killed during the Holocaust.

But the memorial will nonetheless be erected this year, after Berlin’s senator for construction decided to use his right to override the district decision.

The Steglitz district council voted earlier this month to stop the memorial project, saying that the envisioned size of the memorial was too large and that a proposed inscription did not clearly differentiate between the Holocaust and “actual events” in Germany.

Ignatz Bubis, chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, criticized the council’s decision, saying it was acting as if it wanted the memorial to be no larger than a telephone booth.

The conservative-led council in Steglitz, a wealthy southwestern Berlin district, had also rejected the memorial in March, saying it was too provocative for the area’s main square.

Critics of the district council accused the members of anti-Semitism and of attempting to hide the region’s Nazi past.

During World War II, the Nazi headquarters for administering all concentration camps was located in Steglitz.

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